Introduction: Perpetual Peppers, How to Grow Chilipeppers

Picture of Perpetual Peppers, How to Grow Chilipeppers

It all started when I received a present of dried peppers from South Africa.

These peppers are really great, both is size and flavour so I decided to grow them myself and make pictures for this instructable in the process :).

Its my first instructable, it took a year to grow...

Step 1: Collecting Seeds

Picture of Collecting Seeds

To get the seeds just open up the dried peppers

Step 2: Sowing

Picture of Sowing

Sow the seeds in general purpose potting soil, about 2 cm apart.

Step 3: Planting

Picture of Planting

When the pot gets crowded, carefully replant in individual pots.
If you have a (vegetable)garden plant them in the soil, my "garden" consists of a assortment of pots.

Step 4: Watering and Waiting

Picture of Watering and Waiting

Water the plants and wait for growt.
Fertilize as you want, I tend to use liquid fertilizer, once a week.

Step 5: Flowers and Fruits

Picture of Flowers and Fruits

This is just a step to show how mother nature takes care of things: first there are tiny white flowers and then small green peppers.

Step 6: Wonderfull Peppers!

Picture of Wonderfull Peppers!

And then, after 5 months, you get this as end product.


GioBanSan (author)2016-01-15

Right on thanks so much!

DavidofOrlando (author)2012-08-20

Great indestructible. I take the seed grouping (the whole pot without the pot) and put it in a bucket of water.. the dirt dissolves off the pepper roots and all I'm left with is the plant/roots.. might be better than trying to separate the plants individually....

lucas777 (author)2012-07-17

does it work with harissa peppers?

neobepmat (author)2012-04-07

Habanero is Capsicum Chinense, it will require much more time to ripen than usual Annum. (Chinense 120-150 days, Annum 70-90)
1st tip, start to germinate your seeds as soon as possible.
Minimum T° required is 26°C, keep the germ box moisted.
When the seedlings appear, give them a lot of light (temp might be between 20-22°).
Soil is very important for Chinense, ph between 5-6.5 EC no more than 0,8 deciSiemens/meter.
Good luck ;)

romaine (author)2009-06-10

This is an update on my pepper-pots.
Since I live in a very nice climate and due to a utter lack of time to garden, this sorry lot seized their opportunity and just grew on to produced these very varied peppers, in their second year. Peppers are supposed to be annual...
This morning I used them to make green tomato chutney (which is the sole purpose of growing them).

tim_n (author)romaine2011-11-25

Peppers do actually form a bush and will happily grow onto their 2nd year, but the results aren't as prolific. No reason not too... I've done it a few times :)

TheBlackSharpie (author)2011-03-06

I followed this instructable last year and ended up with like 10 peppers from 2 plants. This year I want to try it again but i have a little problem. Aside from cayannes I also grew hungarian wax peppers. I dont know if they cross pollinated. If i took a seed from one of my largest dried peppers will it grow or will it be unstable and cause problems?

tim_n (author)TheBlackSharpie2011-11-25

we get a mix of peppers with our saved seeds - who cares they all taste good and it's chili roulette :)

romaine (author)TheBlackSharpie2011-03-15

We tend to buy new seed every other year. The peppers do cross pollinate but sometimes the result is rather nice. Once cut into a dish you won't taste the difference. :)

At the moment I am growing bell shaped peppers but it is important they come out that way because we want to use them for Christmas decorations.

So, a straight answer: the seeds you save from the peppers will give you edible plants that might be cross pollinated, unless your original seeds were F!-hybrids for which I refer you to a discussion held here earlier.

Show us a picture of your peppers! :)

secretsoto (author)2009-10-26

thank you for taking the time to share.  i have  a question can i get seeds from any vegetable i buy from the market and grow it

sleeepy2 (author)secretsoto2011-05-16

I have successfully grown grape tomatoes from seeds taken from tomatoes at a salad bar.
Actually, almost every seed I have tried sprouting from a grocery store has worked, the only exception being dried hot peppers in a bag of parrot treat.

tim_n (author)sleeepy22011-11-25

There are some promiscous veg such as squash which more often than not do not breed true - but this often doesn't matter because you'll be creating your own varieties.

tim_n (author)secretsoto2011-11-25


and more importantly:

roadieflip (author)secretsoto2010-01-09

I have tried growing from seed from store bought produce, but have had trouble getting them to grow.

My friends mum said that because store bought produce is "forced", they tend not to give good seeds...

I don't know if there is any truth in that, or I just have the knack of killing everything I try to grow. Maybe one of our green fingered friends could comment.

Jonny Katana (author)roadieflip2010-01-14

 In addition to the produce being "forced", I've heard that some growers genetically modify their plants so that the fruits contain seeds that will not germinate, effectively sterilizing the plant. After all, they can't have us laypeople doing something as self-sufficient as growing our own produce, that would drive them out of business!

shvanbommel (author)Jonny Katana2011-06-21

You have to be careful when you are trying to germinate seeds from produce you buy in a store. Unless it's specifically "heirloom" and "organic" (which has a very loose interpretation) it won't germinate easily and if it does, and it produces flowers, there is a good possibility that the other plants it polinates with will not produce either because they will mix it's sterile genetics within it's systems... Does that make sense?

Silence (author)Jonny Katana2010-06-04

Hybrids apparently have difficulty germinating to start with. The prob with most produce is that its picked early and ripened on the road. This in my opinion is probably the biggest factor in low germination rates.

romaine (author)roadieflip2010-01-10

Well, I would advice you to invest a packet of 'proper' seeds and see what happens then.
If it depends on the treatment you give them: try dividing your seedlings in groups and putting them in different places/watering conditions/soil mixtures; whichever survives and bears fruit is the way to grow something at our home :)

romaine (author)secretsoto2009-10-26

Thank you for the friendly words, it was fun to make this instructable. The peppers are still producing, they survived the winter.
About your question:
What happens when you use seeds from bought vegetables is that you don't know what will come out, it cuold be that the vegetable in question has been polinated by another species. Sometimes the result may be interesting.
A pack of seeds is not really expensive and you are sure of the species that will grow out of them
(If you sow half the seeds the rest of the packet is there as a backup system)

secretsoto (author)romaine2009-10-26

thank u

sherlocksbumstead (author)2010-06-05

any good ideas on how to keep ants from eating my peppers' leaves? they're bhut jolokias (ghost chiles) and i REALLY want some fruit this summer.

tim_n (author)sherlocksbumstead2011-11-25

Are you growing in pots or in the ground? I would recommend pots if you have ant issues

Put the pot in a water tray on a brick or two.

Keep the tray filled with water and the ants will be unable to swim accross. Unless you have particularly clever ants who build bridges. They do exist...

Otherwise you can use ant killer

Or permiculture approach would be to plant more ghost chilis!

Ghost Chilis? You're a brave person or you have taste buds of steel... or both! ;-)

romaine (author)bajablue2011-06-19

I had a friend who used to enjoy strong spicy food, she would break a chili and smell it to determine its 'strongness' and then use it is the pan.
I grow them to make green tomato chutney, about 15 to 2 kg of tomato, essential in the recipe but not to much.

patito (author)sherlocksbumstead2010-08-19

Try with some natural insect deterrent, no chemicals. I use dark tobacco: take the tobacco out of a cigarette and let it soak in 1 liter of water overnight. Then you'll have a brown liquid. Strain it, and pour into a spray bottle. The tobacco is a natural insect killer, and it does not harm the other plants.

zexy (author)2010-09-02

Thanks for this great Instructable! I think it would do good for everyone to get back in touch with nature and the planet a little and this is just the type of excercise to get it going. :-)

sherlocksbumstead (author)2009-04-18

i got some bhut jolokia peppers that were dried and i think smoked from india. does the smoking kill the germ or whatever, preventing them from growing?

Most likely. Smoking involves heating with temperatures around 275 to 300 degrees (according to the recipe i found) the seed germs will more than likely have been cooked thoroughly.

chardster (author)2009-06-18

I tried to grow some red habeneros , along with some pepperonchinis, and neither on will grow! they dont die, the just dont get bigger and wont produce peppers or flowers! i got them at a herb festival in little 4-inch pots, and they just wont grow! everything else in my garden is flourishing. i dont have a clue whats worng. maybe overwatering???

WILL62 (author)chardster2010-01-14

How long we're your pepper plants in those little pots? your plants may be root bound. (roots all growing together in a tight ball) As soon as possible take your plants out of the pots and plant in the garden to avoid this, as it will stunt your plants. and don't fertilize until you have fruit then" let em have it" otherwise all the fertilizer will go to the foliage(leaves & Stems)and sometimes you will get no fruit at all!   Fertilize one time when you plant them, then not again till you get little peppers about a 1/2" long, and full sun for peppers.water as needed

romaine (author)WILL622010-02-05

Thank you for adding knowledge to this instructable.
"Those little pots" were all I had at the time...
It is best for plants to have (root)space to strive in, it just happens to be that I lack space, a plot of earth and big pots.
I have a crop that suffices for our needs in those pots and since we have a lot of the sun around here, I have had the same plants growing and producing for  two years in a row! The summercrop was a bit small and curly but in the fall we had nice, big, straight ones. I dried about 30 of them, for later use.

outandabout (author)2010-01-14

With any chile peppers the wearing of some type of plastic or latex glove prevents any unwanted irritation to the eyes and other sensitive tissues.

awang8 (author)2009-06-28

Last time I handled a fresh pepper my nose became slightly snotty and I... umm... stuck my finger up the black hole. 5 minutes later my nose began to burn as though it was on fire (don't ask me how I know what that feels like) and stayed that way for hours... I tried to avoid cooking my own meals with chillies after that...

roadieflip (author)awang82010-01-09

Think yourself lucky you didn't go to the loo with chilli fingers. I have done that after handling habanero chillis, and I'll never do it again!

explosivemaker (author)awang82009-08-17

....ohhh, I have done the exact same thing....hurt like crazy....

airexurb (author)2009-08-16

I'm glad you posted a picture of the flowers. Mine just started to flower and I was worried because they are pointing downward.

mrjacobagilbert (author)2009-07-08

if you find your peppers are not hot enough for your liking, abuse them a little bit. give them a few short droughts with lots of direct sunlight etc...

gardenpat (author)2009-04-18

Just keep in mind that if you are planting more than one variety of pepper to keep them away from the other varieties. They are highly promiscuous and you can end up with some that look like your bell peppers and taste like your jalapeno! Ask me how I know! LOL!!

Rotten194 (author)gardenpat2009-06-20

That's awesome, unless you're like me and can only eat bell peppers.... "Hey look! A bell pepper! Om nomnom. ARGH!"

kitsuken (author)Rotten1942009-06-24

That would be an awesome prank XD

poi_pai (author)gardenpat2009-05-25

I dunno, I kinda want giant jalapenos...

Ian1104 (author)2009-06-03

dude i love hot peppers!! i grow tabasco, white habanero, red habanero, anahiem chile, jalapa mild peppers, rio grande chile, hot paper lantern habanero,chiletipin, peach habanero!!! i think you are growing jwala peppers my friend!!

peacenique (author)2009-04-16

When I went to visit someone in Toronto a couple of months ago, I bought a small bag of Habanero peppers. They are never available in this small town I live in. I brought them home then thought it would be nice to grow some. DUH, I was wondering if I'd be able to find seeds for them... I HAVE seeds... right here in the peppers I had just bought. I cleaned a (fresh) pepper and set them on a paper towel to dry in a hot sunny window. As it was getting too close to being too late for this summer, I only dried them a week or so before planting them in small peat pots. Now I have about a dozen Habanero plants growing in my window! As soon as it warms enough, they're going out to my flower beds. I think I read somewhere that you can bring the plants in in the fall and keep growing the plant indefinitely. I'll sure be trying that! Imagine.. a hot pepper tree!

iMac (author)2009-04-12

Nice instructables! Nice to see theres more pepper instuctables out there ;) Your peppers grew pretty tall and thin from being planted so close to eachother, i would have transfered them once they hit 2-4 inches into a larger seperate pots... it'd keep em more shrubby. Neway, Very cool!

catman529 (author)2009-03-12

It's called pollination...peppers are in the nightshade family, all of the members of which I believe are self-pollinating. That's why it's so easy to grow them, because no insects are needed to pollinate. Peppers are related to tomatoes, potatoes, tobacco, groundcherry (tomatillo), and some others.

romaine (author)catman5292009-03-14

yes, they are self pollinating (outside the wind or insects is enough but if you have your plants inside you have to help the process by shaking the flowers lightly) but they can still cross-breed, I've had some weird looking fruits, especially in the tomatoes.

catman529 (author)romaine2009-03-14

Some people use a motorized device like a vibrating toothbrush to pollinate tomatoes. As far as cross pollinating, I've seen plenty of heirloom tomato varieties that were accidental crosses that were stabilized over the course of a few years. I haven't grown peppers yet but I would like to sometime soon. Maybe under my grow lights this winter. No more room in the garden this year, it will all be taken up by tomatoes, cukes, beets, and some herbs.

romaine (author)catman5292009-03-15

Greenhouse tomatoes are vibrated every day to get a bigger yield. As for 'no more room in the garden', mine is going to be expanded with a 'earthbox' . I have always grown herbs because they are easy to grow in pots. This year I am trying runner beans, more peppers and globe artichoke in old paint buckets.

catman529 (author)romaine2009-03-16

I am going to fit as many tainers as possible (mostly regular pots, but I want to try an earthbox). Maybe I can sneak in a pepper plant. Only problem with that is that I prefer to grow from seed, but it's too late to start peppers now and I would have to buy a plant that someone else grew. That's just my own problem though, I might pick one up at our farmer's market if I get the urge.

tecneeq (author)2009-03-10

This looks very nice. Maybe i'll start growing my own peppers soon :).

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